North System Renewal Project

Conduit 16, shown here being built in this 1937 photo, is nearing the end of its useful life.

Denver Water is in the beginning stages of a major renewal project, one that will replace aging infrastructure and improve the safety and strength of the entire water system.

The North System Renewal Project, which will take several years to complete, includes replacing and retiring Conduits 16 and 22, and constructing a new water treatment plant, the Northwater Treatment Plant at Ralston Valley, among other initiatives.

The design process for the Conduit 16 and 22 project was put on hold in 2015. In 2016, Denver Water resumed design work to replace Conduits 16 and 22 with a single 84-inch-diameter conduit. Conduit 16 was originally built in 1937 to deliver fresh water from Ralston Reservoir in Arvada to the Moffat Treatment Plant in Lakewood. Thirteen years later, Denver Water built Conduit 22 parallel to Conduit 16, also to deliver fresh water to the treatment plant.

The 8.5-mile-long conduits were built with the best materials at the time, but they are both nearing the end of their useful lives. Wear and tear put them at risk of leaks or rupture, compromising the entire water system. Construction on the $80 million conduit replacement project is scheduled to begin in 2017 with some tunneling work underneath several street and railroad crossings and commercial areas.

At the same time, Denver Water is also beginning the design process for the new Northwater Treatment Plant at Ralston Valley. Design packages are being put up for bid in 2016 and construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2018.

After careful consideration, it was determined that building the new Northwater Treatment Plant at Ralston would be a more cost effective solution to replacing the Moffat Treatment Plant built in 1937. While the Moffat plant has reached the end of its useful life, it will remain in use until the completion of the Northwater Treatment Plant and then will transition into a facility for treated water storage and distribution.

Also as part of the North System Renewal program, upgrades will be made to the Ralston Reservoir outlet works with construction beginning in 2017. And finally, some construction work will eventually be scheduled to transition the Moffat site into its new role as a storage and distribution facility.